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Showing posts from March, 2017

Shrimp Scampi with Homemade Fettuccine

Pasta making is a wonderful weekend activity. Pasta dough is very forgiving, in my experience, and the ingredients are few and simple. The only difficulty is that it can be a time consuming process. It also requires one special tool, which is a pasta roller.  I have never been able to manage to roll my dough out to a thinly enough to make pasta without it. Mine is a hand cranked machine that cost around 50 dollars, but there are electric ones that are stand alone or attach to your stand mixer that get rave reviews. I also bought a cutter set for my hand cranked pasta roller, which makes making fettucini much easier. My masticating juice came with pasta extruding attachments, which allows me to make round spaghetti and other fun shapes that you cannot roll out. I will feature that machine in my homemade spinach pasta recipe. This recipe will make plenty of noodles or lasagna sheets. They cook much more quickly than dried pasta and the flavor and texture is unbeatable. Bes

Churros with Two Dipping Sauces

I love fried food. I love sweet food. Combine the two and I am in heaven. Churros are an amazing dessert by themselves, but with a traditional chocolate dipping sauce, they are out of this world. If you want something nontraditional and cinnamon rolls are your favorite breakfast pastry, try dipping churros into a cream cheese glaze. Believe me, you’ll thank me later, after you’ve devoured 5 or 6 of them. Churros is a fried dough pastry, typically made of of choux. Choux pastry is also used to make eclairs, French crullers, beignets, profriteroles, croquembouches, St. Honore cake, gougeres, chouquettes, craquelins and so many more delicious things. Instead of using any leavening agents, choux pastry gets its rise from its high moisture content; when cooked in high heat, the resulting steam puffs the pastry up. Boiling the dough is key for this; mixing the flour into the boiling water causes the starch in the flour to gel, which in turns allows it to absorb more water.  Ch

Creme de Menthe White Chocolate Latte

After a lovely meal, sometimes you want a dessert coffee with a kick. Or, perhaps you want to start your day that way, I won’t judge! This is a velvety smooth, minty, white chocolate latte. It is indulgent, creamy and smooth. Oftentimes when I order an alcoholic coffee as an after dinner digestif, the amount of liqueur is a mite too strong. The result is a drink that is too astringent. In creating this recipe, I was after a drink that had a hint of liqueur, all of the flavor, and was exceptionally rich and creamy while still being perfectly drinkable. The melted white chocolate enriched the coffee and took the edge off of the liqueur while still leaving its kick. Try it for dessert tonight! Ingredients: 2 shots of espresso 2 ounces of white chocolate 2 tablespoons of heavy cream 1/2 shot of Creme de Menthe 1/2 shot of Creme de Cacao 8 ounces of steamed and frothed whole milk Whipped cream and chocolate sauce, to top Method: In microwave safe bow

Corned beef and cabbage hash with poached egg

Leftovers reinvented are a thing of beauty. After St. Patrick’s Day, I always have leftover corned beef and cabbage. I rarely like to eat my leftovers the same way (leftover meatballs and spaghetti become a pasta bake, or meatball subs, for an easy example) so I often use St. Paddy’s leftovers to make corned beef and cabbage hash. Hash comes from the french word hacher , which means “to chop.” Hash usually consists of meat, potatoes and spices chopped into a dice and cooked with onions. Canned corned beef hash became especially popular in France and Britain during and after World War II since rationing limited the availability of fresh meat. Hormel, a popular brand of canned corned beef, started selling its product in the US in the 1950’s. Corned beef hash is so popular now in the US that is has a holiday; National Corned Beef Hash Day is observed on September 27th. While I adore corned beef hash, especially made with my leftover boiled dinner from St. Patrick’s Day, it

Cheesy Beer Irish Soda Bread with Caramelized Onions

This bread is a marriage of beer and cheese bread and traditional Irish soda bread. Irish soda bread is traditionally made with baking soda instead of yeast as a leavening agent. Ingredients include flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. The buttermilk contains lactic acid, which reacts with the baking soda to form little bubble of carbon dioxide, which gives the bread its rise. In this recipe, the bread will get its rise from that as well as the yeast in the Guinness beer. This bread comes together in a snap- no excessive kneading or proofing required and minimal shaping. The X that is cut into the top f the bread help allow steam to escape and the bread to expand, but it is also thought to signify the cross. Other traditional ingredients include butter, eggs, raisins and nuts. I do love cinnamon raisin bread and other breads that contain bread and nuts, but I planned to serve this bread alongside my Traditional New England Boiled Dinner, so I wanted to skew savory. I

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Let’s set the scene. It is March 11 th . I have sourced a lovely piece of round and have decided to brine it- to corn it, for St. Patrick’s Day.  In order to corn beef, you need a few special ingredients. Off to Amazon, I cry. This is my rallying cry for almost everything in my life. (Specialty food ingredients! Toiletries! Pet supplies! Kitchen gadgets! - To Amazon, I cheer, and, with reckless abandon, purchase). Research informed me that I need pink salt and pickling spice for my brine. So I purchased the pickling spice, knowing full well that I will doctor it with extra spices I have lying around (such as coriander, cumin, fennel, juniper, caraway, mustard seeds, bay leaves and black mustard seeds). Because some is good but more is better. I also add pink salt to my cart- pink salt being sodium nitrate (also called Prague Powder); not that fancy pink Himalayan salt. Sodium nitrate is what will keep corned beef nice and red rather than all tan and sad after being simmere

Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake

It is right around St. Patrick’s Day, and I have corned  my beef, caramelized onions for my special Irish soda bread, made a decadent and whimsical St.Patrick’s Day cake, and am looking forward to corned beef hash with the leftovers of my boiled dinner. One would think that might be enough cooking in one week, but I always say that enough is never enough.  I had a bunch of leftover Bailey’s Irish cream, and my work place needed another cake for its St. Patrick’s Day celebration. My boss volunteered to pick something up from the store, knowing I just worked my tukhus off on my Bailey’s Irish Cream Chocolate cake masterpiece. I initially accepted this offer, but spent the remainder of the day waffling. Could I really let a baking opportunity pass me by? At the end of the day, I knew I had to put a stop to this madness. I texted my boss, and told her I wanted to make a cheesecake. Another coworker of mine had recently requested that the next baked good I brought into work b